I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step to. ūüéĶ

You guys, it’s been over a year since my last blog post and only the words of Timbaland can convey how that makes me feel.

What have I been up to since we last saw each other? Well, I’ve made several new mixed media pieces that I’m really excited about (pics and details below). Once the animal ones get framed I’ll be actively searching for an exhibit for them all to be seen. I have ideas for the next piece but am waiting for a rainy weekend at home to get it jumpstarted. I sold three of my older pieces around the New Year and would love for these ones to get new homes too!

I’ll keep this post short and sweet so stay tuned next week to find out about my digital art progress and new job. ūüėé Check out my work below and let me know what you think. And of course follow my social channels, especially IG, if you like my content. Later nerds. ūü§ď

Mixed media surrealism painting Tara White StudioMetamorphism. Mixed media on reclaimed wood. 7×12. 2018. ¬©ÔłŹTaraWhiteStudio

Mixed media wolf painting Tara White StudioShapeshifter. Mixed media on canvas. 18×24. 2018. ¬©ÔłŹTaraWhiteStudio

Mixed media raccoon painting Tara White StudioRabid Radical. Mixed Media on Canvas. 18×24. 2018. ¬©ÔłŹTaraWhiteStudio

All of my life I have had animals as parts of my family. They really make the best companions. They are always happy to see you, they don’t judge and never stay mad at you. This is why I have¬†enjoyed drawing portraits of companion animals. I feel that it is just as important that our memories of our quadrupedal friends last forever. As a former veterinary technician, I have seen many people lose their loyal friends and it can be¬†just as painful as losing a human friend. Although you can go out and adopt another pet, no one forgets their lost companions. They are all unique with their own personalities, just as we are.

Most portraits were made for friends and co-workers, but a few were for some lucky raffle winners.

Dogs…..

(click on the images for slideshow and info)

I use high quality, archival drawing paper for graphite drawings, textured paper for charcoal and pastels.

Cats…..

ūüėČ

 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

This Mother’s Day, of course, I’d like to wish a happy day to all of the mothers I know – my Mom, my Mother-in-law, our Grandmothers, and all the women I know with children. I’d also like to suggest wishing a happy day to those women who do have small ones in their lives that they care for, provide shelter for, and spend their time thinking about, that may be a bit furrier than those other little ones.

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So to all the other fur-baby moms out there, I’d like to wish you a happy Mother’s Day because your love for your animals is just as significant as other people’s love for their children. And a special shout-out goes to those who’ve adopted shelter animals. Many of these animals have had very difficult and scary lives as little puppies and kittens. Most were born on the street and had to fight for food or starve. They definitely require a lot of patience in the beginning but it is worth it to be able to give them their forever home.

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My husband and I adopted our dog in 2009 the day we cam home from our honeymoon. We went to our local shelter, Cape Ann Animal Aid, and immediately fell in love with a quiet, 6-month-old hound mix named Josh. We decided to name him Jackson after one of our favorite places, Jackson, NH. He curled up on my lap in the back seat on the ride home. Fast-forward seven years and he is my best friend. I am as excited to see him as he is to see me when I come home after work. He is a special, loving dog whom we hope has at least another seven years to go.

As¬†fur-baby moms we may not¬†get any gifts this Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a little something for ourselves. I love shopping on Modcloth and came across some adorable and fun pet-themed items that I think you’ll love. Check it out:

 

Happy Mother’s Day!ūüėČ

8> Tara <8

Floral Inspirations & Romantic Roadtrips

Maybe I mentioned it before, but Spring is by far my favorite season!

Sunshine, cool breezes, rain showers, budding plants and, of course, floral everything!

Flowers, whether in a garden or a vase suggest beauty, life and fragility.

One of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” She was often¬†seen wearing them in her hair, which has become synonymous with our memory of this¬†legendary woman.

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I am currently working on a new mixed media collage painting based on my own sketches of Ms. Kahlo and recycled paper products that have bright colors and flowers on them. I’ll be sure to share pics on Instagram and Twitter @tarawhitestudio when it’s finished!

Sketch sesh
Frida sketch session

Floral prints add a certain timeless charm and femininity to anything. This makes them a staple for Spring wardrobes and any romantic getaway.

My favorite online fashion shopping venue, Modcloth has created a special Romantic Roadtrip Collection. There are more than 1000 beautiful items from dresses, blouses and jackets to bags, watches and shoes.

I’m hoping to plan my own romantic road trip and would love these items to wear:

While perusing through the collection I came across four items that would make a fun, flirty and comfortable springtime road trip outfit. The floral crown in pastels is reminiscent of those worn by Frida. The faded denim blue dress is casual and comfy but could be dressed up too. The mint green bag would fit all my necessities. And the multicolored slip on sneakers would make it easy to jump in and out of the car to check out all the sights!

If you love Spring, flowers and anything pretty, definitely check out their collection and leave your comments below!

Thx ūüėČ

8> Tara <8

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Getting ready for summer

With¬†Memorial Day weekend upon us, the days of backyard barbecues, fresh garden veggies, cold refreshments and trips to the beach are finally here. The summer is the most fun time of year for a lot of people but it can also be the most overwhelming. Here’s¬†how I’ve been preparing…

Keeping up with the messes – I’m a busy body, just can’t sit still. I feel like I’m always cleaning up a new mess so¬†the easier cleaning can be the better. My can’t-live-without tools for cleaning my little house are as follows:

  1. Disinfectant wipes: These have been around for a while now but I’m shocked that people¬†still use spray bottles and paper towels. The wipes are so easy and so much more effective. Plus, they don’t tear or leave bits behind when wiping rough surfaces. My favorite ones are made by Seventh Generation, which use botanical ingredients rather than harsh chemicals.
  2. Shark Rocket Vacuum: In 2008 I bought a Shark stick vacuum for $30 at Best Buy. This vacuum worked great for nearly 7 years but finally gave in to the wear and tear a few weeks ago. Since I was so impressed with the suction power and ease of use, I decided to stick with Shark and bought the new Rocket model. I really like it a lot – still has great suction, weighs only 9 lbs and is very easy to use. It’s actually shortened my vacuuming time because it doesn’t have to go over the same spot multiple times. Plus it comes with a million attachments for various uses, including a detail kit that makes cleaning my car much more tolerable.
  3. Organization: Baskets are my best friends. I really love them because you can just fill them with random crap and keep your space looking clutter free.

A fun antique¬†window project – A few years back I bought several old windows at a flea market for $10. I used one as a “canvas” for a painting of a cow, which I’ve since sold. The others have just sat in our basement collecting dust. Until I came across this awesome pin on Pinterest, and made my own serving tray. Set atop a vintage tablecloth-covered table with candles and a rustic planter, this tray makes the perfect beverage station.

Antique window serving tray
Antique window serving tray with bar setup

With all my preparation I’ll never feel quite ready to get into a bathing suit for the first time. It does help when you find a fun new one to show off. Modcloth has a great selection and they’ve put together this infographic about the history of bathing suit fashion. They’ve also made a point to let us know that any body type can look beautiful on the beach, so don’t be discouraged and check this out:

“It’s a pool party over at ModCloth, and you’re invited! With so many bikinis and one pieces to pick from, you’re bound to find a standout look that suits your style. And while you’re at it, check out ModCloth’s exploration of so-called “ideal” beach bodies in their new Swim-fographic! It’s an intriguing look at how arbitrarily beauty standards have changed over time. Of course, ModCloth knows that every body is a beach body — the only requirements are a beach, your bod, and a swimsuit you can’t wait to flaunt!”

Swim-fographic 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

 

New Business Cards!

A few weeks back I shared¬†a Wanelo collection I entered into Zazzle’s New Year New You Contest. And guess what? I won the Bronze prize, which was a $25 Zazzle gift certificate!

Initially I thought I would use it to purchase one of the products from my collection. I really liked the Blue mist snowfall desk lamp and Fresh mint flavor wall clock.

But I decided to use it for something that I actually needed, which were new business cards. I have not had professional cards since I started referring to my business as Tara White Studio, apart from my free Etsy mini cards, which I ran out of.

I started from scratch and designed my own, full color, double-sided cards on a linen textured card. With the gift certificate and an online promo, I got 100 cards for just $8.10! They came in this adorable little kraft paper box with a little white Zazzle seal.

Processed with Moldiv

 

I am very impressed with how they turned out. The colors are exactly what I expected and the images and text printed perfectly. Even the reverse side, which I used to promote my pet portrait service looks amazing!

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So thank you Zazzle for choosing my collection as a winner so that I can promote my business with these amazing new cards!

And now,¬†Zazzle is running a 30 Days of Maker Giveaways campaign where each day they’ll be giving away a product from one of their¬†Makers ! I’ll be entering for a chance to win and so should you!
30 Days of Maker Giveaways on Zazzle

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I know, this is one of those love it or hate it holidays.¬†Personally, I don’t care for the mushiness, stuffed teddybears, Hallmark cards, and heart-shaped everything. I do celebrate the February 14th because it’s my husband and my original anniversary of when we started dating 16 years ago!!

I think it’s a good day to celebrate someone you care about, and I don’t think that someone has to be a significant other per say. Why not a sister, brother, friend, co-worker, Mom or Dad? Remember back in grade school when you gave a Valentine to all your classmates? Let’s bring that back!!

This is one of those holidays when handmade or just really thoughtful gifts go a long way too. This year I decided to make a bunch of cute, valentine’s-inspired items for my Etsy shop. I came up with some really fun wooden spool photo holders. While the concept is not new, I gave them¬†my own special flair by adding extra “bling” to the tops!

Valentine's Decor
Wooden Spool Photo Holder

 

And of course I had to make my own Valentine’s.¬†As a creative and lover of the environment, I always try to make my own cards from recycled materials. I had so much fun making these first three cards. They are made from the tops of those small, square Kleenex boxes, recycled greeting cards, Starbucks corrugated cup sleeves, scrap fabric, trim and assorted embellishments.

Valentine's Day Card
Valentine’s Day Card Victorian Romance
Valentine's Day Card
Valentine’s Day Card Bohemian Lace
Valentine's Day Card
Valentine’s Day Card Carnival Love

      

 

 

 

 

 

One thing that drives me crazy about cards is that they¬†typically aren’t something you want to keep out for very long. So, the best part about these Valentine’s is they can be hung as a keepsake!

Valentine's Day Card
Valentine’s Day Card Victorian Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

For our special day, my husband and I will likely go to dinner somewhere close to home. Not too fancy, but more upscale than usual. I’d most likely be able to wear a cute dress with leggings and boots, which are¬†more my style than a little black¬†dress with heels (I don’t do heels). Perhaps I’ll splurge on a new outfit!

Modcloth has so many cute dresses and more and they’ve made shopping for Valentine’s Day super easy by creating their¬†Sweetheart Shop. I checked it out and here’s three items I’d like to buy for V-Day:

This is the “About the Artist” dress, which I have been obsessed with for quite some time, but have not allowed myself to purchase yet. It is so simple, but still pretty and romantic.

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About the Artist dress – Modcloth

I’d pair it with these adorable little pink ballet flats because they add just a touch more girly without being sickeningly sweet.

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Tasteful Touch flat in blush – Modcloth

Finally, this bag, omg, this bag is the icing on the cake. How amazing is this? It looks like it came right out of an antique store and the colors go with the gray dress perfectly! If I end up buying these I’ll be sure to share a pic of me in the outfit!

forget me not bag
Forget me not bag – Modcloth

See what cute things you might want for 2/14/15 at www.modcloth.com/shop/valentine-clothing-decor!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Pin-spiration

Happy Friday Night Friends!

I’d like to take this opportunity¬†to talk about Pinterest and why it is one of my go-to sources of¬†inspiration.

I’ve been an active¬†Pinterest user for several years now – I attempted to find out exactly how long but to no avail. I have 36 boards containing almost 1200 pins. If you’re already a pinner like me, feel free to follow me and check out my boards!

Visit Tara’s profile on Pinterest.

For me, Pinterest has become a more reliable search engine than Google. Mainly because I am a completely visual person and need to see things rather than read text. I also know that many¬†things that are pinned have been tried by others and probably pinned because they were amazing. So I find it unbelievable that there are still people out there who don’t use it. I have also heard from many people who have no idea what its purpose is. I think a good way to describe it is like when you used to read¬†a book or magazine and would dog-ear the pages that you wanted to back to. Or when you were 12 in the 90’s and cut things out of magazines and taped them to your wall. Did anyone else do that? I had an entire wall devoted to teen heart throbs!! It’s a place where you can store your favorite things from the internet in an organized fashion. It’s also very visually appealing. Some of my boards are designated for recipes and I definitely refer back to them all the time when I want to remake something I loved. Others are for ideas for things in the future like home decorating ideas. Then there are my inspiration boards. These are for things that are really cool and from which I can draw inspiration for my own creations. My newest one is inspiration for some Valentine’s and Spring crafts.

For more inspiration, I turned to Wanelo to find some pretty new items to help fuel my creative engine. For inspiration, a framed quote. For the office, a wintry glitter desk lamp, pretty vintage-style floral bird pillow, glitter wall clock, floral binder, botanical clipboard, fun washi tape, vintage wire desk sorter, turquoise desk and leather secretary desktop organizer. For comfort while creating, a pretty yoga tunic. And to look professional but still inspire creativity when representing my crafts, a floral blazer.

Wanelo Collection
New Year New You

 

Can you tell what my favorite colors and themes are? If you like my collection you should totally enter Zazzle’s New Year, New You Challenge!

Zazzle is looking for you to create a fabulously fantastic collection on Wanelo titled ‚ÄúNew Year, New You‚ÄĚ where you include products that represent your New Year‚Äôs resolutions.

If you enter, you have a chance to win one of the following amazing prizes:

ONE GOLD PRIZE : $75 Zazzle Gift Certificate and feature of 9 products from your collection on Zazzle blog

ONE SILVER PRIZE: $50 Zazzle Gift Certificate

ONE BRONZE PRIZE: $25 Zazzle Gift Certificate

How to enter:

1. Follow the Zazzle store on Wanelo

2. Create a collection on Wanelo.com titled ‚ÄúNew Year, New You‚ÄĚ

3. Tag every product in your collection #zazzlenewyou

4. Add at least 4 Zazzle products, and include at least 9 products total in your collection

5. Fill out this form to submit your collection

For a full description of the challenge please visit Wanelo Collections Challenge .

TWS 2015: Reorganization and Realignment

While others were partying and ringing in the new year, I spent a quiet evening on the couch with my dog, Jackson. We reflected on the past year and realized that Tara White Studio, as a craft business, needed some reorganization and realignment. The first step in addressing these would be to draft a business plan.

This is something I have never actually done before, so I was a bit nervous to get started. After a quick Google search I came across a post from Etsy’s blog (of course, why didn’t I think to check there?). The post,¬†How to Write a Creative Business Plan In Under an Hour, was exactly what I was looking for. In her post, the author included an example business plan for her fantasy business. This¬†was not the text-heavy word document that I had initially envisioned. It was very visual and fun but included all of the pertinent information for a successful business plan.

Since this was my first attempt at this document, I decided to base mine off of her example, but added my own flair. In an effort in keeping it all on one page it may be a bit busy, but since it is a plan for myself, I am happy with it.

Tara White Studio 2015 Business Plan

The most difficult parts for me were coming up with a value proposition, assessing the market need and proposing the solution to that need that my business fulfills. These parts are definitely going to be works in progress and one of my goals for the year is to reevaluate them and make them a bit more specific.

The fun parts were adding up my expenses, revenue and calculating my profit. Since 2014 was not as successful as 2013, I set my revenue goal for 2015 in between the two other values. However I also plan to spend less on expenses. One of my goals for this aspect of the plan is to start utilizing my expense planner again or look into a Quickbooks account.

Back in 2013, I made an active effort to post on social media and this blog. At the time I did not think it was impacting my business, however after looking back at the past two years I’ve realized that this was the biggest difference between 2013 and 2014. This year, I plan to boost my social media presence through increased Instagram posts¬†and¬†more personal stories here. I will also be taking more advantage of some of the useful tools provided through Facebook Page Insights. Here I was able to find a graph summarizing all the people who have liked my page, including gender and age. Interestingly, the percentage of women versus men is comparable to that of my Etsy customers. I hope to use this information to reach out to and provide better products to my potential¬†customers.

Last but not least, were my milestones. I admit these are modest but every small thing means something and can provide inspiration and drive for moving forward. In the past year my notable moments were surpassing 200 likes on the Tara White Studio FB page, 2 sales resulting from custom requests through FB and of course, completing my business plan!

I am very excited for the year to come and all the work I plan to do. I wish you success in your own ventures.

~Tara W.

Oh and I almost forgot, I also reorganized my small and humble work space. Enjoy some pictures below!

Craft Corner
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Upcycled hanging storage boxes
Craft Corner with re-upholstered and distressed bench from my sister

 

 

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